Wikisource:Copyright discussions/Archives/2007-12

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Mixed outcome[edit]

The case of the purloined short fiction[edit]

The following discussion is closed: Kept When the World Screamed and two stories from The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone and The Problem of Thor Bridge. Deleted The Land of Mist, The Disintegration Machine, The Adventure of the Illustrious Client, The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier, The Adventure of the Three Gables, The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire, The Adventure of the Three Garridebs, The Adventure of the Creeping Man, The Adventure of the Lion's Mane, The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger, The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place, and The Adventure of the Retired Colourman

While removing some works from the PD-old-70 list, I detected a few works on the Author:Arthur Conan Doyle page listed their publication date as after 1923. I immediately deduced that a misdemeanor may have been committed unobserved. Further research revealed that the work The Land of Mist had its copyright renewed in 1954 (Renewal #R128774), allowing its copyright in the United States to remain until 2021. Likewise the work The Disintegration Machine had its copyright renewed in 1956 (Renewal #R177202), causing its copyright to remain in effect until 2023. Whether this was mistake or malice, we shall do well to remove the offending republication to a country with shorter long arm of the law. 14:22, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

(Further clues have also led to The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes which had its copyright renewed in 1955 [Renewal #R149513], allowing its copyright to remain until 2022.) 18:26, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

(Yet a fourth exhibit has been discovered, "When the World Screamed" published in 1929 in the work The Maracot Deep and other stories and renewed in 1956 [Renewal #R177201], lasting to 2024). 18:47, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

"When the World Screamed" nomination withdrawn by nominee as per discussion below. 05:14, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Even if there is a copyright infringement it is not a "misdemeanor" as you allege. It is a violation of property rights that would need to prosecuted by the rights owner, not by the state.
The effect of these renewals may not be what you think. The renewal for The Maracot Deep and other stories appears to be a renewal for the compilation, rather than the individual stories, unless that compilation was the first place where they appeared in the US. For "When the World Screamed" its first US publication occurred in Liberty magazine on Feb 25 and Mar 3 1928. Unless there was an earlier renewal of some sort, the renewal that you cite is out of date. There is a similar situation for The Casebook, where two of the stories were originally pubblished before 1923.
There still remains the question of the Rule of the Shorter Term, and the Shorter Term in the US available for libraries and archives. The applicability of either of these would work in our favour. Eclecticology 07:43, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Eclecticology, I was trying to leaven these dry discussions with sometimes painful results with a little humor through a half-baked employment of detective terminology. No offense was intended. Please bear in mind that I was doing so with the knowledge that these works can all be moved to Wikilivres if necessary. Calling something a "misdemeanor" (in the non-technical sense of the word) sounds more "19th century" than copyright infringement.

If your reasoning about copyrighting compilations is correct, it appears that with "When the World Screamed", Wikisource is off the hook. There's no separate renewal mention of it in the Rutgers database, while there is for the "Disintegration Machine" from the same Maracot book (which would be needless if the copyright for the compilation included the individual stories).

As for the "Case book", if the copyrights to the individual stories in it have lapsed, they would be in the public domain in the U.S. for the same reason, but also for the same reason, the framing device of the preface and the ordering of the various stories would be under copyright and ought not be used. Galsworthy's work Caravan, which frames his short stories in a conceptual way as well (stories with similar themes are paired together), and would be an excellent help in approaching those works, is in similar straits, only 3 of the 56 stories were published after 1922, yet the compilation was copyrighted 1925 and renewed.

According to a user named Lupo, the archive provision of US Copyright law only applies to works "not subject to normal commercial exploitation", I believe was the phrase. There was a discussion of this between Birgitte and him further up on this page at the heading The Captive which concluded that if the work was available for sale even as used copy, it apparently still applied.

If you are the one who prepared these works, I can sympathize if you are feeling frustration. I recently had to remove five chapters of a book I am submitting because of doubts about their public domain status. 05:04, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Not much to say right now; I need to go to the airport for Wikimania in less than an hour. I'll get back into it when I return. The situation for these two compilations seems very blurred based on Green and Gibson's A Bibliography of A. Conan Doyle. I can't agree with you that reasonable price would include used books; that would render that part of the law meaningless. With eBay one can get a lot of these obscure books very cheap, not because of high supply but because of low demand. This would include a lot of orphan works. The ones that are likely to be expensive are the very popular ones. Eclecticology 06:08, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
All of Conan Doyle's post-1923 works are under U.S. copyright per 17 U.S.C. 104A. Physchim62 17:21, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
That's not so. At the very least, works published in the United States whose copyright was not renewed in the proper time frame are in the public domain. That's not even get into the highly debatable issue of whether the rule of the shorter term applies in the US. Was there a Notice of Intent filed for any of these books that otherwise had expired copyrights? Eclecticology 07:39, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
re The Land of Mist: The above registration and renewal was indeed for the May 14, 1926 first American edition in one book. The first British edition came out on March 19, 1926. This was more than the 30 days difference allowable by U.S. law at that time. The book was serialized in three places:
  1. Strand Magazine in the UK, July 1925 to March 1926
  2. Canadian Magazine in Canada, August 1925 to July 1926
  3. Home in the United States, November 1925 to July 1926, vol. 34-5; I am having difficulty identifying this last one with such a common word as a one-word title.
This only makes everything more murky. Eclecticology 10:06, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, first, no NIE needs to be filed. An NIE is only needed to enforce a restored copyright against someone who'd been using the work (unlicensed) before 1996 and kept doing so. Our publication would not be such a continued use, and thus no NIE would be necessary for the copyright holder to enforce the copyright against us. Second, if a work was published within 30 days in the U.S., it is indeed considered also a U.S. work and not subject to the URAA restorations. But if it was published in the U.S. more than 30 days after the original foreign publication, then the work is subject to the URAA, and the URAA restorations restored the copyright to the full term as if all U.S. formalities (including renewal) had been met. For Land of the Mist, there's more than 30 days (for the book as well as for the serialized versions), so its copyright would have been restored. Lupo 17:16, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Deleted The Land of Mist, the copyright was restored until 2021 according to the above and my research into the URAA. —{admin} Pathoschild 02:04:38, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Are these still under discussion or am I missing something?--BirgitteSB 15:36, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

I deleted The Disintegration Machine as a proven copyvio. w:The Disintegration Machine lists a first publication date as 1927 (or 1928, according to the text posted here) with a valid renewal as listed above.
The situation is more complex with regard to The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, which appears to be a 1927 compilation of previously published works. Under section 103(b) of the Copyright Act (and as correctly noted above by User:Eclecticology), republishing a previously published work in a compilation doesn’t affect the duration of its copyright—in other words, the copyright clock started running on all the stories collected in The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes when each story was first published, not in 1927 at the time of the compilation volume. w:The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes indicates that the included stories were first published between 1921 and 1927, which means that at least some of them (the pre-1923 ones) are PD in the United States. We need more research on a story-by-story basis; the 1955 copyright renewal on The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes compilation isn’t dispositive. Tarmstro99 17:00, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

(unindent) I borrowed a hard copy of the first U.S.A. edition (A.L. Burt Co., New York, 1927) of The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes from a nearby library in hopes of learning more about the original publication dates for each of the short stories included therein. Somewhat to my surprise, the book doesn’t list the original publication details. Here is what the copyright page of the book says, in its entirety (I can upload a page scan if necessary for corroboration):


Copyright, 1926, 1927,
By Liberty Weekly, Inc.

Copyright, 1921, 1922, 1923, and 1924,
By International Magazine Company, Inc.

Copyright, 1924,
By P.F. Collier & Son Company


How’s that for unilluminating? As noted at w:The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, the stories in the Case Book are printed in a different order from their original publication. Here’s how they appear in the book, together with what Wikipedia says about their original publication dates, and any copyright renewal information I have been able to uncover:

Chapter Pages Story First Published Renewal
I 13–48 The Adventure of the Illustrious Client 1924 1952, R92993
II 49–76 The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier 1926 1954, R129373
III 77–99 The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone 1921 1950, R65265
IV 100–123 The Adventure of the Three Gables 1926 1954, R129374
V 124–146 The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire 1924, but © 1923 1951, R82151
VI 147–169 The Adventure of the Three Garridebs 1924 1952, R92992
VII 170–205 The Problem of Thor Bridge 1922
VIII 206–233 The Adventure of the Creeping Man 1923 1950, R65266
IX 234–259 The Adventure of the Lion's Mane 1926 1954, R129372
X 260–275 The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger 1927
XI 276–299 The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place 1927
XII 300–320 The Adventure of the Retired Colourman 1926 1954, R129371

I think we can safely tag The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone and The Problem of Thor Bridge as {{PD-1923}}; the purported 1950 renewal comes too late to prevent The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone from falling into the public domain. The rest, however, look like potential copyvios to me. Copyrights in the 1923 through 1926 works were renewed, and the two 1927 works would appear to be covered by the 1955 renewal on the Case Book itself. Tarmstro99 20:28, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for doing all that research. Sadly, I must concur with your findings about the casebook. The seeming discrepancy about the Three Vampires can be easily explained. The copyright was in December for a January magazine; the practice continues to this day where a magazine issue for a nominal month is made public well before that month starts. My copy of Green & Gibson's book supports the stated original publication dates, and also show a consistent effort in regards to the 30-day rule.
There may still be questions about some of the chapters for The Land of Mist, and whether they complied with the 30-day rule, but since this is a novel rather than a collection of short stories there is little to be accomplished by including a partial novel.
For the Maracot Deep group it appears that proper renewal happened for all except When the World Screamed. Of course all of these are in the public domain in the UK, and in Canada if Yann hasn't yet copied them into "Wikilivres".
With all complicated discussions of borderline issues the results should be summarised either on the author page or on a special sub-page for the author. Eclecticology 09:16, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
It looks like Yann is finished copying these over to Wikilivres. Tarmstro99 20:50, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, done. Yann 13:36, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Deleted all except The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone and The Problem of Thor Bridge. Tarmstro99 15:19, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Works of Kerry Wendell Thornley[edit]

The following discussion is closed: no consensus

This author died in 1998. No proof is given that his works are in the public domain. In addition, Principia Discordia was published in a "limited edition of 5 copies". This would mean that it does not fit Wikisource requirement. Yann 10:16, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Here. Page 75 of Principia Discordia clearly states ALL RIGHTS REVERSED, REPRINT WHAT YOU LIKE. Kerry Thornley was not the principal author. The 4th edition has been in perpetual publication since 1970. Can i get back to work now? --Popefauvexxiii 10:42, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

That depends. Does Discordia have a Sabbath day? 04:57, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
There is no respite for the dedicated absurdist in such a serious world as this. Hot dog fridays take a little of the edge off, tho. --Popefauvexxiii 11:15, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Apparently all some of Thornley's other Wikisource entries are hidden, not just Principia. Why are two of the Factsheet 5 columns hidden and/or problematic? The magazine (even when it did bear a copyright notice) was specifically released into the public domain by its publisher. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 03:07, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Post the publisher's notice with Template:license. --Popefauvexxiii 11:03, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I added {{PD-release}} on each of Thronley's Factsheet Five columns (example), and quoted the publisher's own words on the respective talk pages (example). Was this insufficient? -- Baffled, Gyrofrog (talk) 18:59, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Deledted Principia Discordia What is the evidence that the magazines copyright was released into PD? I don't understand where that is coming from.--BirgitteSB 17:20, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
It's a book, not a magazine. The statement "© All Rites Reversed - reprint what you like" is scattered throughout the work (example). -- Gyrofrog (talk) 18:59, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Yann, why did you change the "Ⓚ" to a "©"? I meant what I wrote, the book says "Ⓚ" , and so does the URL example I provided. And note that it says "reversed", not "reserved." It's obviously a joke, using the "Kosher" symbol instead of the "Copyright" symbol. But seeing how they omitted a proper copyright statement, "Ⓚ All Rites Reversed - reprint what you like" must reflect the authors' intentions. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 19:41, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I am asking abouts the other works not Principia Discordia. Principia Discordia is clearly all rights reserved and not acceptable which is why I deleted it. The other works are the still in question.--BirgitteSB 19:07, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Actually, its not. Its all rights REVERSED. the REVERSE of RESERVED is FREE LICENSE. --Popefauvexxiii 01:27, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
You mean Factsheet Five? I fail to understand why it's in question, the publisher was very clear about it (e.g., "FACTSHEET FIVE is copyright ©1989 by Michael A. Gunderloy. You may freely reprint any of the contents of FACTSHEET FIVE, with or without permission, with or without credit"). Again, I made sure to include this on the talk page of every Thornley column, knowing that this licensing information is important. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 19:25, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Well ©1989, means it is copyrighted and release for reprints is not enough for it to be compatible with the GFDL. The GFDL requires release for modifications as well. So this would not be acceptable here. However the reprint release should be enough for it to be acceptable at Wikilivres.--BirgitteSB 19:37, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
The statement doesnt say anything about limitations on modification, and secondly, this isnt wikipedia, its wikisource, so there shouldnt be any modification of source materials anyway. i fail to see how that has any relevance... its a retained copyright without any implied limitation, which falls squarely within the free license spectrum. Let's look at that license again:

FACTSHEET FIVE is copyright ©1989 by Michael A. Gunderloy. You may freely reprint any of the contents of FACTSHEET FIVE, with or without permission, with or without credit

As far as i see it, putting together "any of the contents" with the "with or without credit" part, you can assume that you could post ANY PART (not ANY ARTICLE or ANY PAGE, therefore it could mean a paragraph, sentence, or phrase) WITHOUT giving credit--essentially a license for modification. --Popefauvexxiii 01:24, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
The Pope raises an interesting point. Why would this text be subject to modification? I was under the impression that Wikisource entries were "locked down" (protected) once they were copyedited, verified etc. I don't imagine someone having a good reason to change anything in, for example, Hamlet. Or is adding a wiki link (or something similarly minor) considered a modification of the text? If that's the case then, yes, I agree with you. Otherwise, it seems as though you simply don't want this text on Wikisource, and if that's the case, well then so be it, though I would have instead expected this to come up in an "AfD"-type forum. Thanks, -- Gyrofrog (talk) 15:16, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
This truly has nothing to do with my personal wants. Modification is a key concept of free content. You may not wish to modify of this text, but others may wish to translate it for example. And this is not just about what can be done here on Wikisource, but what may be done by third parties. This project is dedicated to issue of free content and this simply isn't free content. It is not appropriate for this project. It may be appropriate in another place like [ Wikilivres]. Everything here is strictly free content so that third parties can trust us and not hesitate to re-use and make derivatives works of anything found here. This is important for the big picture of what Wikisource is accomplishing. It not anything personal about the content of these works.--BirgitteSB 16:23, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
BTW You both seem to not trust my evaluation of the copyright situation outside the particular policy issue. Please go and ask other people and get their opinions. Find others who work copyright on other projects like Wikipedia or Commons and ask them about whether these works legally permit modifications. If you would like, I know of someone at en.WP who is actually an IP lawyer. But if you would not trust my recommendations that is OK. Find someone you believe, the law is the final word.--BirgitteSB 16:31, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Understood, thanks for the explanation. I didn't want to come off as though I were assuming bad faith, but from my perspective it did seem as though the goalposts kept moving. We are in the process of setting up a new place for these texts, so ultimately, no worries. Thanks again. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 16:51, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Birgitte: I believe that your assessment is overly narrow when contrasted with the broad implications of the exact wording of these licenses. that are not worded legalistically because law is intended to establish limitations, and the culture they emerged from (the zine scene) considers the freedoms to reproduce and modify core values--they are intended to be interpreted liberally. please DO refer the editor you spoke of to this page. --Popefauvexxiii 01:34, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
The editor I would reccomend for you to ask is w:User:COGDEN. You would do well to ask on the talk pages of the copyright forums of other projects like Commons. --BirgitteSB 14:04, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

It's not violating copyright per above, but it desn't meet the criterion for inclusion that states we need to include works published before 1923. Wikibrarian talk to me 01:54, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

What? are you implying that only expired copyrights are suitable for inclusion? It's a totally free license! see w:Template:Copyrighted_free_use. That's what it breaks down to. I see nothing in Wikisource:What_Wikisource_includes that excludes Factsheet Five. If anything, afree license like this is FREER than expired copyrights because it applies worldwide! --Popefauvexxiii 02:03, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, misunderstood that criterion. I thought it meant only stuff before 1923, but I was wrong. I'm sorry, please forgive me. Wikibrarian talk to me 21:12, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

  • Neither of these works are free for modification. I agree with you that it does not violate copyright to simply reprint these works, but this is a wiki and all works here must be open for modification as well. None of these works are acceptable by Wikisource's Copyright policy because they do not allow modification.--BirgitteSB 13:22, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
    • I totally disagree with this conclusion. ALL RIGHTS REVERSED - Reprint what you like implies that that no rights are reserved, and that one might reprint any portion they choose... once again, if no limitations are placed on what constitutes a minimum portion, then this is a license to modify. If I take a phrase here, and a sentence there, and a paragraph over yonder, and intersperse them into my own writing, that is modification, is it not? You may freely reprint any of the contents of FACTSHEET FIVE, with or without permission, with or without credit is of precisely the same essence, except that the bare copyright is retained, in other words, the author/editor reserves the right to not have the copyright stolen by someone else. BOTH of these licenses are freer than a CC-BY-SA, which is acceptable. --Popefauvexxiii 01:43, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
      • I'd think that proper attribution is key to any kind of license, and that without credit is another way of saying public domain. After all, if I can reprint without credit, than I could release my reprint under PD, since there wouldn't be any attribution to trace it back through. -Steve Sanbeg 16:05, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
commons:Commons:Deletion requests/Template:Allrightsreversed has started and finished without anyone here being informed. Lovely. John Vandenberg 07:58, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Closed as no consensus, with strong opinions on both sides, meaning we probably need to revisit when someone has done more investigation. There is plenty of evidence that the copyright framework is being wilfully ignored by both the creator and copiers. If anyone notifies us they intend to try to put this genie back in the bottle, it can be deleted then. Both Principia Discordia and Factsheet Five have been reprinted in many forms, and are held in many libraries.
    wrt Factsheet Five, we do need a warning somewhere to say that only original work printed in the magazine is acceptable on Wikisource, as it appears (according to the Commons "discussion") that they printed snippets from modern works which are still held by copyright. John Vandenberg 04:10, 18 December 2007 (UTC)


Castle of the Winds[edit]

The following discussion is closed: Deleted

The text posted here includes an express copyright notice dated 1995. Although it appears from the template used on the page that the contributor intended to rely on the fair use exception, fair use is not permitted here under WS:COPY. Tarmstro99 15:42, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

w:Castle of the Winds says it was released into the public domain. We would need to confirm that. John Vandenberg 16:31, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
The game is PD (or at least, the author has publicly stated that it may be freely copied), but the documentation is a separate work from the PD software program. The copyright notice on the linked page reads “Documentation © 1995 Epic MegaGames Inc., USA.” Tarmstro99 16:41, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Based on a comment posted to Talk:Castle of the Winds by User:, I downloaded the freeware version of the game from the original author’s web site. Having now examined the contents, I can confirm that what was released as PD does not include the user manual text hosted here. Tarmstro99 22:06, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Delete; I have just now grabbed the zip file; it contains two help files but neither appear to be similar to the text we have hosted here, and I couldnt find Image:Cotw-cover.png anywhere. John Vandenberg 00:51, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Deleted all. Tarmstro99 18:55, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Age of Aisha[edit]

The following discussion is closed: Deleted

1998 booklet published by Al-Rahman Publishing Trust - doesn't seem to fit the criteria of a "Manifesto" Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Pulitzer-winning writings 08:19, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Delete Lack of a copyright notice does not indicate lack of copyright except in certain US works. If the author did put this in the public domain, there should be an affirmative statement of this. Commentary on seventh century historical events is hardly a manifesto. We also have no practice of keeping files in pdf format. Eclecticology 09:56, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Delete along with Image:Age of Aisha.pdf. What is posted at Age of Aisha isn’t itself a source text in any event, just a link to the contemporary PDF. Tarmstro99 12:21, 23 November 2007 (UTC).

Deleted, no opposition to nomination. Tarmstro99 15:36, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Home (1998 song)[edit]

The following discussion is closed: deleted John Vandenberg 03:16, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

1998, no release. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Jefferson Davis 17:08, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Best info I could find (and that’s not saying much) is this site summarizing Singapore copyright law. Author of the song is apparently w:Kit Chan, who is still alive, and music and lyrics both appear to constitute copyrightable subject matter under Singapore law. (Which is no suprise considering that Singapore is a Berne Convention signatory). Absent some other reason for thinking this work is public domain, I vote delete. Tarmstro99 03:19, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

The Everlasting Man[edit]

The following discussion is closed: Deleted

According to Stanford’s copyright renewal database, this work was published and copyrighted in the United States in 1925, with renewal in 1953. Tarmstro99 01:36, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Copied to Wikilivres. Yann 13:17, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Deleted. Tarmstro99 15:38, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

The Doors of Perception[edit]

The following discussion is closed: Deleted

According to Author:Aldous Huxley it was published in 1963; the page says: The Doors of Perception appears in this library under the "Fair Use" rulings regarding the 1976 Copyright Act for NON-profit academic, research, and general information purposes. Readers requiring a permanent copy of The Doors of Perception for their library are advised to purchase it from their book supplier.

That is well outside our defined project scope. John Vandenberg 01:04, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Deleted. Thanks, John Vandenberg 01:34, 16 December 2007 (UTC)